First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. I am super pissed Stephen Strasburg is not pitching in his hometown of San Diego this week. #FAIL Nats. Should’ve lined that rotation up better. Yet, where there is failure, there is opportunity. And so we shall look at the glass half full and see that out of San Diego’s loss comes Los Angeles’ gain.
Strasburg will now start in a prime time, Saturday night matchup with the Dodgers and Matty Kemp. He likes it when I call him Matty. Now, I suppose since I do REALLY want to see Strasburg pitch and LA is not that far from SD, I could drive up the 5 to check that ish out. But then, you consider traffic and yeah, no. Not happening. So, I’ll pull up a stool at a nearby local brewery house, pub, eatery type thing and watch the heavy-weight fight. Kemp v Strasburg. 50/50 v 100mph.
Let’s do some analysis (don’t worry, no WAR reports… grrrr…. grumble grumble):
2012 MLB Stat-Leaders (HITTING)
HR: 9 – Matt Kemp -1st
RBI: 22- Matt Kemp -1st
AVG: .474 Matt Kemp -1st
Hits: 27 Matt Kemp -1st
Runs: 17 Matt Kemp -1st
Note: I could go on, but you get the point. He predicted 50/50 (50 HR/50 SB) this season. He’s on pace for about 90HR currently. He’ll need to start hitting singles doubles and triples if he wants to get to 50 SBs. Currently on pace for 12. Run Matt, Run.
2012 MLB Stat-Leaders (PITCHING)
ERA: 1.08 Strasburg -5th
K: 25 Strasburg -4th
IP: 25 Strasburg -9th
Note: He could easily be first in both IP and K, but the Nats have Strasburg on a serious pitch count. 95 pitches and or the 6th inning seems to be about it.
Oh and by the way, this match up will also feature currently the two best teams in the National League, with the Dodgers leading the NL West at a 12-3 record and Washington leading the NL East at 12-4. It looks like it will be Chad Billingsly opposing Strasburg, but don’t rule out a possible Clayton Kershaw v Strasburg match up.
And poop on my Diamondbacks who are now below .500 and without Daniel Hudson and Chris Young for a few weeks. Not good.
Another $35 Million. Madison Bumgarner, come on down! You’re the next winner of Millionaire!
Is it just me or do the San Francisco Giants suddenly have tons of cash? Maybe $2 Billion for the Dodgers was accurate after all.
The G-Men now have $175M tied up in two pitchers, Matt Cain and Bumgarner. And this is before they resign Tim Lincecum, who is likely to get at least $100M. So, is the writing on the wall for Mr. Lincecum? I think so. He’ll be gone within the next two seasons, maybe as early as this year if the Giants fall behind in the division. And the way things are going in LA and AZ, that could be a real possibility.
This just in: The D’Backs are going to be good this year. Really good. They destroyed the San Francisco Giants over the weekend, sweeping the first series of the season, 3-0. Arizona’s pitching staff is going to keep them in games and their offense is oh so powerful. I like this year’s team even more than last year’s and that is saying a ton.
I am a little worried about Josh Collmenter who got hammered on Sunday and had a rough Spring. I fear his success is due to his unique throwing motion, which once players have seen it a few times no longer becomes deceptive. There is a positive side of this and it rhymes with power. Two words: Trevor Bauer. Bauer enters the rotation, then you move Collmenter to the bullpen to throw an inning here and there and opposing teams see less of him. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.
Tomorrow, we’ll get our first look at Trevor Cahill in an Arizona uniform as he’ll take on my hometown San Diego Padres. Tuesday’s game will be the first of a three game series of which I’ll be attending. Hopefully I make it to all three. I’ll be at one of them for sure.
The Padres are terrible and nothing better than a AAA club. It’s a series the D’Backs will win and could possibly sweep. A sweep means Arizona is 6-0 and the Padres season is all but over at 1-6. Yuck and pooh.
Surprising 3-0 or 0-3 teams include the following:
Tampa Bay 3-0
Baltimore Orioles 3-0
New York Mets 3-0
Boston RedSox 0-3
New York Yankees 0-3
San Francisco Giants 0-3
Atlanta Braves 0-3
Westside Culture is moving up in the world. The world of baseball blogging that is. From 28th up to 23rd (Ryne Sandberg style) and taking a shot at the Top 20 next month. To celebrate I’ve decided to give you, the fans of Westside Culture, an exclusive interview. (For those of you who may not know, I Kevin Rehberg, aka Westside Culture, do most of the interviews for Westside Culture, thus I will be interviewing myself. Or is it my alter ego? Either way.)
WestSide Culture: So, what’s it like being
the biggest bad ass on the planet ranked 23rd in MLB’s Fan Blogs??
Kevin Rehberg: You know, it’s a daily grind. Let me put it this way. Beat writers constantly talk about the daily grind for baseball players and having to get up for 162 games per year, even when you’re playing the Rockies and the Mariners. For me, I have to be ready 365 and always prepared. I’ve found shots of espresso and RedBull throughout the day do the trick.
Recently Ubaldo Jimenez threw at Troy Tulowitzki and was suspended 5 games, what are your thoughts?
Troy, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Ubaldo and Tulo had been yapping back and forth for weeks, Troy had to know in the back of his mind getting thrown at was a possibility. Get over it. It’s baseball. With that being said, a 5 game suspension for a starting pitcher means he misses one start. What Ubaldo did was bush league and warrants at least missing a couple of starts.
D’Backs take on the Giants tonight in Arizona. Predictions?
D’Backs win. Ian Kennedy owns the Giants, although any time your opposing pitcher is Tim Lincecum, you cannot guarantee a win. I’ll say 1-0 Arizona and Paul Goldschmidt’s solo HR off of Lincecum in the 4th is the only scoring.
Sorry to cut you short, but I’ve got shit to do. Do you mind if I post this as is and we can reschedule for later this evening to finish up the rest?
Do what you gotta’ do.
## update, interview continued
Well, you were wrong about the Giants v D’Backs game.
Yes, still I picked the correct winner and nailed the Paul Goldschmidt solo HR off of Tim Lincecum. So there.
Give me your 2012 World Series picks.
A please would be nice. An American League team will play a National League team.
Who is your favorite MLB Blogger, besides yourself?
Hmm… I’m really feeling Dallas Latos’ blog, I also like Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend, and for obvious reasons, Down the Line with the Phillies Ball Girls. Although that blog is definitely not West Coast. Shame on them.
Day 1. 4 games in 5 days. The final stretch of my 2012 Cactus League experience. Offense still rules. 7-6. Final. Rockies over Giants. 33 hits. 3 Home Runs. 2 runners picked off. And a Troy Tulowitzki mo-hawk.
In the first inning, Tulo steps up to bat. 2 out, runner on first. #99 pitching for the G-Men. I leaned over to my group and said, “Who is #99?” followed up with, “#99 wants no part of Tulo here.” Sure enough 99 used his best pick off move to get the runner at 1st. End of inning. Tulo left standing flabbergasted at the dish.
Fast forward to the second inning. Tulo leading off. 1st pitch from #99, Tulo launched way over the trees in left, out of Scottsdale Stadium, landing somewhere near the library. “Told you he wanted no part of him.”
Two of the best stories from the Cactus League, Buster Posey and Juan Nicasio, both played very well Saturday. The Buster Posey experiment continues as the Giants try ‘ol Busta Bust at various positions besides catcher. He played 1st base today and looked smooth as butter doing it, adding two hits and 2RBI. The Giants can afford to take some chances with Posey, because, this just in:
San Francisco has found themselves another catcher. Hector Sanchez can flat out hit. Home run today and a double, 2 RBI. 4 HRs in Spring ball.
Nicasio who is coming back after missing much of last year with a broken neck and taking a line drive to the face, pitched very well. 6 innings, 3R, 6K’s, good life on his pitches.
#5pm update… I’ll be back with more thoughts from today’s game. Beer + sun + peanuts = dehydration. Need water. Cactus League in desert.
And we’re back…. nicknames section…. the Milk Man had another 2 hits today… Brett “Jagged Little” Pill added 2 hits off the bench… Guillermo “Fumar La” Mota baked up a scoreless inning in relief…. Gregor “Mr White” Blanco continues his torrid Spring with a 2/5 HR kind of day…. Kung Fu Panda kicked himself into an 0/4.
Think Dan Haren wasn’t a little extra fired up to face his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks? Think again. The DH went 3 scoreless innings and struck out 7 of the final 8 batters he faced. Who said it’s just Spring Training?
I’m sure glad Haren is in the AL West and the D’Backs, being in the NL West, don’t have to face him. Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and CJ Wilson are 3 other reasons I’m glad the Angels don’t play in the NL West.
The D’Backs ended up getting Joe Saunders and Tyler Skaggs for Haren in a deal that worked out well for both clubs. Skaggs, who projects to be a future #1 or #2 pitcher for the D’Backs as soon as next season, had a rough first outing. He followed it up today with 2 scoreless innings and a K.
Just a few of the images I shot so far this Cactus League Season. KungFu Panda, J-Up, Madison Bumgarner, Todd Helton, Ryan “The Riot” Theriot, Beer Man and a shot of Scottsdale Stadium, the Spring Training home of the San Francisco Giants.